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Comment: almost done needs a little refinement

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Gliffy Diagram
nameInboundOutboundChannels

Example explanations:

Fig 1

One phone dials another phone; about as simple as it gets.

The inbound channel is created from Alice's phone calling Asterisk. Asterisk then calls the extension dialed by Alice by creating an outbound channel to talk to Bob. Once the call is established the two channels are put into a bridge.

Fig 2

A user runs the originate command from AMI, or maybe something like "channel originate SIP/Alice application playback demo-congrats" from the CLI. Asterisk creates an outbound channel to call the device specified (SIP/Alice). When answered, Asterisk begins treating the channel like an inbound channel and connects it to the specified dialplan application.

Fig 3

Perhaps a user runs originate again - but this time "channel originate SIP/Alice extension [email protected]" from the CLI. Where [email protected] tells Asterisk to dial outbound to SIP/Bob. At first, the created outbound channel would look like Fig 2 where it begins to be treated as inbound after the device answers the call. At that point, a number of things happen:

  • Asterisk creates an outbound local channel into Asterisk and bridges it with the now inbound channel to Alice.
  • Asterisk creates another leg of local channel as "inbound" into Asterisk to execute the dialplan at the extension specified with the originate. This local channel is essentially bridged with some magic to the other local channel.
  • In our case the dialplan executes something like Dial(SIP/Bob), so the new SIP channel is created to communicate with SIP/Bob and is then bridged with the inbound local channel. Now communication flows across the whole path.

For this example demonstrating relationships between channels and other elements we used non-optimized local channels. If the local channels are optimized, then they will optimize themselves out of this mix and Alice and Bob's channels would be bridged together directly.

Channels and Variable Inheritance

When working with channels you'll almost certainly be touching channel variables. It is useful to note that upon setting a channel variable the level of inheritance between channels can be defined. This is discussed in the Channel Variables sub-section Variable Inheritance.